When I initially started reading this book, I felt it had potential. Simply by describing the archetypes, it reminds us of the principles of an ethical life - that we all seem to completely forget in daily life.
I had some problems though, with the author's forays into explaining issues of race, class and discrimination. At many places, where one least expects it, he stigmatizes people who react against discrimination and oppression and seems to think that they should just lighten up and swallow injustice. He seems to especially dislike African American militance but says nothing about the white violence that it is the mirror image of. This is a very dangerous attitude. We all need to speak out, constantly, against oppression and historical injustices, and recognize its toxic effects on all of us. Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. Its a bit insensitive to self righteously judge and condemn other people's pain, hurt and their resultant anger when one hasn't been similarly hurt oneself.
I think perhaps in the next edition, if the author wishes to condemn violence, he should select as a case study white violence - institutional and physical, rather than talking about the reactions of oppressed people to that violence.
A wonderful introduction to bodhisattva practice and history. Rev. Leighton explores the historical manifestations of the bodhisattvas, but always returns to examples accessable to the western reader (this western reader, anyhow!) and brings the focus to the ways we can learn from the bodhisattvas, not just revere them from afar.